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The 5 Most Popular Poker Games

poker cards

Depending on who you speak to, poker either dates back to the 19th century and the United States or the 17th century and Persia. Regardless of which historical camp you are in, one thing we can all agree on is that poker is one of the world’s most popular games.

Played for millions of dollars in the world’s most exclusive casinos, thrashed out between friends in a friendly low-wager game, or fought out between strangers on online poker sites, this classic card game is one with a truly universal appeal.

Another reason for poker’s popularity is the many variants on offer allowing players to get bogged down in games of extreme strategy or to enjoy fast-paced, low-stakes games. In this article, we take a look at 5 of the most popular poker variants, read on to find out all about them.

5. Video Poker

Around the mid-1970s when the first PCs were making their way onto the market, casinos had the idea to blend the lines between poker and video games. From that video poker was born, a game played on a screen against a computer.

Similar to slot machines, video poker is more weighted towards chance than skill, although user input can increase the RTP. Nowadays video poker is not just enjoyed by visitors to land-based casinos, it can also be enjoyed online and in some cases in bars and pubs.

4. Seven-card Stud

Although this game isn’t commonly found in land-based casinos nowadays, it used to be one of the most popular table games in years gone by. More commonly found online on poker-specific sites, seven-card stud sees players receive two face-down cards, with one more face-up, community card being shown before the first round of betting.

After that, three more community cards are dealt followed by another betting round before one more community card is shown. Similarly, to the most common variants of poker, the player with the best 5-card hand wins the round.

poker chips

3. Five-card Draw

If you’ve ever watched a movie filmed before the 1990s, chances are the game of poker you’ve seen the protagonists playing on the screen is a five-card draw. In this variant, players are dealt two cards, one of which is face down and one of which is face up.

Additional cards are then dealt to players as the betting rounds progress until a total of five cards have been dealt with one still face down. This brings an extra element of luck and chance to the game, with high drama usually happening at the end of each round.

2. Omaha Hold ‘Em

At the beginning of the round, every player at the table is dealt four face-down cards before three face-up, community cards are drawn. After that, two more betting rounds follow with a further two community cards being drawn.

The winner is the player who can make the best possible hand out of three of the community cards and two of their cards.  At the showdown, the entire four-card hand must be shown by players to win the pot.

poker card ace

1. Texas Hold ‘Em

The world’s most popular poker variant, Texas Hold ‘Em, was born as the name suggests in Texas, in the city of Robstown. In this variant, players are dealt two hole cards face down before three community cards known as “the flop” are drawn.

A further two cards are drawn after each betting round known as “the river” and “the turn” with the winner being the player who makes the best possible hand of their two hole cards and the three community cards.

With two fewer cards than Omaha, it is harder for players to make winning combinations and therefore there is an added emphasis on psychology and bluffing. This is heightened by the fact that players do not have to disclose their cards when winning a hand by being the last-man-standing.

In Summary

There are plenty of poker variants out there to keep you entertained and to cater to every type of poker fan from casual to professional. If you are just starting on your poker odyssey we’d recommend playing simpler variants, perhaps video poker, to get yourself acquainted with the various hands.

Once you have built your confidence you can then move on to some of the slightly more complex and challenging variants. It is important though not to rush into a variant because you think you should be playing it or because everyone else seems to be.

If you’re better suited to seven-card-stud than Texas Hold ‘Em, play seven-card-stud. You will have more fun and win more money than trying to force yourself to play a variant you’re not well-suited to.


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